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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo
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Job skills to promote to improve their employability

Which labor competencies strengthen to look for a job?

Do you think that knowledge and experience are sufficient to apply for a job? The digital transformation and the effects of the pandemic have overturned the needs of companies. Teleworking, digital consumption and automation are just the tip of the iceberg. This has had an impact on the hiring of human talent and, therefore, on the labor competencies that are required of a candidate when occupying a position.

In this sense, the new labor competencies that the labor market demands go through developing soft skills or soft skills. Investing in them is a bet for success when looking for work.

What are the labor competencies?

The OECD defines the labor competencies such as those skills and abilities acquired by individuals to carry out complex activities (OECD, 2017). These skills allow you to perform an activity or task in an adequate and systematic way. Furthermore, they can be learned through deliberate and equally systematic effort.

In essence, labor competencies they have to do with the ability of a person to combine knowledge, skills, attitudes, aptitudes and motivations to respond to a task or activity in the workplace (Bizneo, nd).

In short, it is about the professional skills acquired in an area of ​​knowledge (cognitive and technical skills). And also of other capacities and attitudes (socio-emotional competences) (OECD, 2017). That is, of what makes a person competent. Likewise, it has to do with knowing how to perform a task or provide a consistently good service, with quality and efficiency (Piña, 2020).

What kind of labor competencies exist?

There are different classifications of labor competencies. In this case, we present two groups of competencies that affect when looking for a job:

Labor competencies transversal

The transversal competences or soft skills can be transferred to any professional activity. They are not tied to a specific activity. It is about the individual and social capacities that each person develops and that applies in a given context.

That is to say, they are the skills that help us to relate to others and to ourselves, in solving problems. They also help us manage on an emotional level and set goals (Sanchis, 2020). Some examples of transversal competences are:

  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Problem resolution
  • Initiative
  • Assertive communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Proactivity
  • emotional intelligence

Labor competencies techniques

Technical skills or hard skills are associated with a specific job. Likewise, they are essential to successfully develop a specific work activity (Educaweb, nd).

Therefore, they are different for each profession or trade and are usually acquired by carrying out specific training. For example, a baker will need to know kneading techniques, types of flours and ferments, handling of ovens and cooking temperatures.

The labor competencies should they be on the curriculum?

Of course they must appear! The labor competencies They must be displayed clearly and in a prominent place (Becerra, nd). It is very important that in the curriculum you highlight the real strengths you have and later demonstrate them.

Remember: companies are looking for professionals whose skills correspond to the position they are going to perform (Randstad, 2021). In any case, it is about making evident those personal attributes that distinguish us and differentiate us from others, since it is the personal brand with which we will introduce ourselves to recruiters in the selection processes.

Labor competencies most demanded by companies

Nowadays, labor competencies The most relevant and with the highest demand for the Ibero-American productive sector are (El Empleo, 2021; Randstad, 2021):

  • Adaptation to change
  • Agility in decision making 
  • Analysis of data
  • Leadership
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Communication
  • Emotional connection

Labor competencies: How to improve them?

Here is a set of recommendations with which to perfect the labor competencies (Soler, 2017):

  • Know the skills required for the job position you apply to. Inquire about the tasks they accomplish and what skills that job requires. Then make a connection between what you've learned and the skills of people in a similar position.
  • Find out what capabilities you have overlooked or are worth strengthening.
  • Assess the skills that the company promotes and that can contribute to its development.
  • The self-knowledge of your skills will be an indicator of what you should improve based on your goals and aspirations.
  • Prioritize the weakest competencies and seek training. You could use a coach, short courses, or motivational materials.
Without a doubt, you will be able to advance your professional career if you constantly develop your labor competencies. Remember: it is not enough to be an expert in one area, you also have to have other skills that help improve employability and qualify for better job opportunities.

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